SWAN Newsletter #26

June 3, 2008

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING (7:30 – 8:45 PM)

Attended by Watson Fisher and Ted Robertson. Reported by Ted Robertson.

Under Old Business the Supervisors reconsidered the leaf waste portion of the contract for the collection of solid waste and recyclables. The Supervisors passed the optional leaf waste plan similar to the present plan at a cost of $6.58/month for those participating at a previous meeting. After some discussion it was decided to consider the mandatory leaf waste program at $0.72/month. This would result in a first year quarterly cost of $50.01 under the new contract. This option was passed by a vote of 5-0.

Under New Business a public hearing was held on ordinance 08-01 amending the zoning designation for property commonly referred to as Lakeside Marina on Carolyn Street, from Low Density Residential to Commercial General. It should be noted this property was designated Commercial General prior to the passing of the Comprehensive Plan in 2006. This change was approved 5-0.

A curative amendment of the zoning ordinance regarding Article 505, Noise was denied. No public hearing was held since the applicant was not present to present his case.

The Supervisors approved the acquisition of a sanitary sewer easement through the property on Earl Drive at Colonial Road for $6600. Mr. Mark Hankin owns the 1 + acre property. The vote was 4-0 with Supervisor Blain temporarily absent.

The Supervisors unanimously approved Resolution 08-23 for staff to start the procedure to obtain right-of-way and easements from property located at 1602 Colonial Road. This is in conjunction with improvements specified at the intersection of Colonial Road and McIntosh Road for the development of Stray Winds Farms by Triple Crown Corporation.

The Supervisors voted 5-0 to authorize the Township Solicitor to appeal the decision of the South Hanover Township’s zoning officers denial of a permit to Lower Paxton Township to fill a parcel of land owned by the Township in the 700 block of Nyes Road.

By a vote of 5-0, the Supervisors approved change order no. 1 to the contract for the water line extension in George Park. Apparently the specified location of the existing line was incorrect.

June 4, 2008

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PARKS & RECREATION BOARD MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

There were only three board members present, Chairman Robert MacIntyre, Vice Chairman Ken Beard, and Secretary Mary Jane Hornung. Without a quorum this was not an official meeting and no formal action could be taken.

Skate Park A representative from Central Penn Freedom Group, which is proposing to build a skate park at George Park, presented an outline of the different levels of giving from needed sponsors and the types of signs those different sponsors would be allowed to have. The Parks and Rec Board was asked to review the proposal and make a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors for their approval.

Their proposal ranged from the highest level of giving which would entitle the sponsor to name the entire skate park and include a major sign at the entrance through six other levels of giving, each of which would entitle the sponsor to a variety of signs, logo, or names in the skate board bowls and pipes themselves, names on the sponsor wall, etc. The board members present were favorably impressed with the group’s efforts to date.

Heros’ Grove The project at Brightbill Park to build an amphitheater for outdoor concerts and plays has just begun with earth moving. At previous meetings it was discussed that the project would honor fallen heroes from across the county and the township had hoped that the county would participate in the construction and/or in the operation of the facility.

Parks and Recreation Department director Brian Luetchford reported that the county has indicated that it has no interest in being involved with the facility and that the township’s intent now is to lease the property to the Heroes’ Grove Association which in turn would lease it back to the township which would operate it. The county’s only interest in it is to be able to reserve it for a few days a year for special events.

Koons Park Pool Mr. Luetchford reported that Chuck Barto representing the pool board said their intent was to open the pool in June and that he will be asking the supervisors for some support. Mr. Leutchford doubted that support would be forthcoming and he felt it was questionable whether the pool could in fact be opened yet this year.

Autumn Oaks At the May meeting Mr. Luetchford reported to the board that McNaughton Homes had stated that they intended to make a fee-in-lieu payment to meet their recreation requirement instead of contributing useable acreage. He also said that McNaughton’s cost to build the 5-foot wide bikeways on both sides of Patton Road and the 8-foot wide walkway through the development would be deducted from the fee-in-lieu payment. He said that HRG estimated the cost of those improvements at $31,500 and that that figure would be presented to McNaughton for discussion.

He reported that at a recent Supervisors Workshop Meeting, McNaughton stated that they did not intend to build the bikeways as part of the Patton Road realignment project and that the walkway through the development would be only 5 feet wide as they had originally indicated instead of 8 feet as called for in the Greenway Plan and as had been requested by the Parks & Rec Board. This matter will need to be resolved at a future meeting.

George Park Toward the end of the construction of the park there have been a series of problems with the installation of the water line. Because the difficulties involved the water company and several contractors the township realized that they could not wait to try to resolve who should be held responsible and decided to do the repair work themselves. The question remains as to whether of not there will be sufficient water pressure for the toilets and irrigation or if a booster pump will be needed.

The next board meeting will be at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, June 25. There will be no meeting in July.

June 10, 2008

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP SUPERVISORS WORKSHOP MEETING (6:00 – 8:15 PM)

Attended by Watson Fisher and Ted Robertson. Reported by Ted Robertson.

Mr. Terry Harris, a managing partner of the Accounting Firm of McKonley & Asbury, gave a presentation regarding affordable housing. This is basically a program using public and private funds to make housing affordable to lower income families. The examples given in our are (Hershey, Lancaster, Harrisburg) were either converted manufacturing or commercial structures to residential use, or, in the case of Hershey, a complex built across Derry Road from the Hershey County Club at the northeast end of Hershey. This, I believe is occupied mostly by Hershey employees. In all these examples, the infrastructure and services were already in place. In Lower Paxton Township, I believe we would be talking about developing Greenfield sites, which would not have the infrastructures and services readily available. Discussion on this subject was cut short by time limitations. Another session is planned.

The Capital Area Soccer Association (CASA) had their consultant, Mr. Al Colone, give a brief presentation concerning the needs and fund raising possibilities for CASA. There is a need for 20 fields at an approximate cost of 7 million dollars, rather than the 8 to 10 fields originally discussed. Mr. Colone is conducting a feasibility study, which will be complete in 3 to 5 months. At this time more details will be made available.

Mr.Dick Durnaresq presented a plan for the development of a dog park in the Township. It was proposed that the Township would maintain the dog park. It was obvious that much work was done in the planning stage for this proposal. Donation of fencing and gates has already been obtained. Volunteers will be used to enforce the rules of use of the dog park. This plan will be presented to Parks & Recreation for their approval.

At Supervisor Hornung’s request, a discussion of the Residential Retirement overlay in the Institutional zoning district was held. It was noted that the relatively high density (10 units/area) and the “catch-all” nature of the Institutional-zoning district did not appear to fit the objectives of the Township’s Comprehensive Plan. This was in conjunction with the proposed re-zoning of approximately 7 acres across Devonshire Road from Costco. A better approach to the Residential Retirement overlay was requested.

A representative of Glen and Barbara Cassel presented a sketch plan for 133 acres along Union Deposit Road. This property is located about a mile east of Nyes Road on either side of Union Deposit Road. The only objection raised at this time was that of Penn DOT concerning the number of driveways accessing Union Deposit Road in a rather short distance. No further comments were made.

June 11, 2008

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING

Attended by Ted Robertson and Watson Fisher. Reported by Watson Fisher.

Martin L Schoffstall Children’s Trust – Rezoning Request This request involves a 7.03 acre tract located on the south side of Devonshire Road, north of Wilshire Road, and across Devonshire Road from Costco. It is zoned R-1 Low Density Residential and the request is to change the zoning to IN Institutional.

There is a previously approved plan for 10 single-family homes at this R-1 location. The intent of the rezoning request is to be able to increase the number of housing units by creating a Residential-Retirement Development (RRD), which by code is only allowed in an IN Institutional zone. The proposed plan, if the request is granted, would be to build 31 units and a community building, of which 80% of the units would need to have one resident 55 years of age or older. The reasoning presented for this request is that there is a demand in the township for this kind of development and that this location is convenient to shopping. The Dauphin County Planning Commission recommended that the request be denied because of its location.

During public comment neighbors from the adjacent single family home developments spoke in objection to the request primarily because the Institutional zoning would allow the property owner to possibly build any of a wide variety of building types allowed in that zone instead of the residential development now proposed. Township Supervisor William Hornung, who is in business with Mr. Schoffstall, acknowledged the neighbors’ concerns with the proposed zoning for this tract and chose to withdraw this rezoning request. He discussed the need for consideration of a possible zoning ordinance change to allow an RRD in other zones or the creation of a new RRD zone.

Estates of Autumn Oaks – Preliminary Subdivision Plan #07-27 This plan is the second portion of the total Autumn Oaks project located at the north ends of Patton Road and Colonial Road at the base of the mountain. This phase is on a 177 acre tract zoned R-1. The original subdivision plan was approved by the commission at their December 2007 meeting and is now being resubmitted with minor changes. The revised plan shows 91 single-family home lots all of which are at least 1 acre in size and one additional lot for a United Water Company water tank. Staff, county, and HRG comments have been received and satisfactorily addressed.

Regarding the first phase of the project, the road agreement for McNaughton to do the realignment project on Patton Road has now been signed. Also, Mc Naughton has agreed to build the bikeways on both sides of Patton Road and the walkway through the development consistent with the request of the Parks and Recreation Department. Costs for the bikeways and the walkway will be deducted from the fee-in-lieu payment they will make to the township to satisfy their recreation requirement.

A question was raised in this second phase concerning the ownership of the land where the storm water detention basins are located. It was stated that the basins will be maintained by the homeowners’ association but will be part of private home lots to avoid the problem of having various small parcels owned by the HOA. Easements will be created to provide access to the basins for maintenance equipment.

The engineer, Mr. Jeff Staub, representing the potential buyer of the Estates of Autumn Oaks development asked the commission about some of the waivers that were requested, primarily regarding the allowable slopes of collector roads and minor roads. This item was clarified. He was also concerned about the available water pressure in the part of the development at the upper level, as it would relate to fire suppression. He was told that was not a subdivision issue.

The commissioners voted to recommend approval of this plan.

June 16, 2008

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION WORKSHOP MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

This workshop meeting was to continue work on the preliminary investigation into the possibility of creating a Business Improvement District (BID) in the township. The purpose of such a district is to make improvements to a designated business area, to include traffic control, beautification and advertising, using funds generated by assessing the businesses in the area as allowed by state law.

At the two previous workshop meetings the commissioners decided on the business area to be considered, which is the general area along Route 22 from Colonial Road east to just beyond Mountain Road, and began the process of designating all the individual properties within that area to be included in the proposed improvement district. By the wording of the law they can include only properties zoned commercial “used for any for-profit activity involving trade and traffic, or commerce in general.”

At this meeting they completed the review of the area property by property. The next step will be to create a map showing all the properties to be included and to generate a listing of the property owners. This investigation project is being done at the request of the supervisors and at the next commissioners workshop meeting they will prepare their formal presentation to be made to the supervisors at one of their future workshop meetings. This presentation will include a statement of the general goals of the BID and thoughts and suggestions on how best to proceed.

If the supervisors direct the Planning Commission to proceed with their efforts the commissioners will prepare a preliminary plan of suggested improvements, their costs, and the estimated assessments to the property owners. They can then present the plan to all the property owners in the district and determine if there is sufficient interest to proceed. By law the project can only be implemented if no more than 40% of the owners actively object to the proposal.

June 17, 2008

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING

Attended by Watson Fisher and Ted Robertson. Reported by Ted Robertson.

Under Public Comment Mr. Al Shrove (sp?) asked the Supervisors to look at the Institutional zoning criteria with the idea of better defining what can and cannot be included in this zoning area. The Supervisors responded that they had already started this process.

Under New Business, Mr. Michael Musser, representing Community Networking Resources, introduced Alicia Harris Daniels from Exelon Nuclear. Ms. Daniels gave a presentation concerning the re-licensing of the Three Mile Island Power Plant. The NRC review process will take approximately 22 months. The new license will be good for 20 years.

The Supervisors accepted the low bid of Womax, Inc. for approximately $338,000 for the replacement of the Linglestown Road sanitary sewer force main. The low bid included a warranty.

The Supervisors unanimously approved Supplement C to the reimbursement agreement with PennDOT for Linglestown Road improvements. This includes costs involved in the Village of Linglestown project up to and including right-of-way acquisition.

The Supervisors unanimously approved the application for funding for police officer training from MPOETC. This is in conjunction with the swearing in of newly hired police officer Brian Egley by Chairman Hawk.

Under Subdivision and Land Development the preliminary/final subdivision plan for Harold Rudy (08-08) was approved 5-0.

The agreement between the Township and the McNaughton Company for improvements to Patton Road in conjunction with the Autumn Oaks preliminary subdivision plan was approved 5-0.

The Supervisors unanimously approved resolution 08-24, the planning module for the Devon Woods subdivision plan.

June 25, 2008

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PARKS & RECREATION BOARD MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

George Park Skatepark The Central Penn Freedom Group had written a letter to the Parks & Recreation Board regarding the proposed construction of a skateboard facility at George Park. The letter outlined their fund raising plan including the proposed sponsorship levels and the suggested signage that would be allowed for each level. The Parks & Recreation board needs to make a recommendation to the supervisors on this proposal. The letter was reviewed at the last P&R board meeting but there was not a quorum so no action was taken.

During the discussion the board members generally expressed their support for the project but raised a number of concerns regarding the specifics of the fund raising plan, primarily focusing on the time period for the sponsors to complete their pledges and for the rights of the sponsors to be reserved. There was also concern for the needed restrictions on the character of the signage and the responsibility for maintaining or changing the signage over the years.

The necessary procedure is to have the approval of the supervisors prior to the beginning of any fund raising. The board asked Parks & Recreation Department director Brian Luetchford to prepare a letter to the supervisors expressing their support for the project and outlining their concerns. It was acknowledged that the plan would be to build the facility without any funding from the township but that the township would be responsible for its maintenance.

Lower Paxton Dog Park At the June 10th workshop session the supervisors heard a presentation by representatives of the Lower Paxton Dog Park Committee explaining their efforts to date to establish a park in the township and requesting that the supervisors consider setting aside an area of about an acre or less at one of the township parks for that purpose. They explained that the area would not have to be flat, could well be an area not otherwise usable for recreation, and that they would do the necessary fencing and provide the needed oversight and control of the park. The supervisors felt that the effort had merit and directed the committee to present specifics regarding possible locations to the Parks & Recreation Board.

Representatives of the committee visited the parks with Mr. Luetchford to evaluate possible sites and they presented a written report to the board on their findings. Of the eleven locations visited four were considered as possible and the one favored was at Lingle/Kohl Park. The area of interest is past the sand volleyball courts at the bottom of the hill. This location is near parking, there are no houses around, and it is accessible to water and restrooms.

The board supports the creation of a dog park in the township and agreed that this was probably the preferred site for it. The committee stated that they wanted to start fund raising but needed to have a designated site before they did. The board asked Mr. Luetchford to prepare a memo to the supervisors recommending approval of the park at this location.

Hero’s Grove Mr. Luetchford gave an update on this project, which is to build an outdoor amphitheater at Brightbill Park. The group planning the project met with the township staff and they reported that they will be applying for a state grant to assist in the funding. In order to qualify for a grant they need to have a long-term lease in place. After that is done they will begin the actual fund raising.

As an aside, the board discussed the possible need to expand the township’s sign ordinance to address signs in the parks. Some signs are allowed, such as on scoreboards where businesses pay for or contribute to the cost of the board. Also there will be signs at the skate park recognizing the various sponsors and there will be signs at other future projects. Specific requirements for signs for all future projects should be known before any fund raising begins.

Koons Park Pool The pool has finally opened for the season and memberships are being sold. The Parks & Recreation Department has concerns about possible health issues and about the management of the pool. The township does not have any direct control over the pool’s operation.

Autumn Oaks The McNaughton Company has reiterated that they intend to satisfy their recreation requirement by making the fee-in-lieu payment. The department is still not clear whether or not they intend to build the bikeways along Patton Road and whether the walkway they plan to build through the development will be 8 feet wide as recommended by the Greenway Plan and the Parks & Recreation Board or narrower as they previously stated.

George Park The leaks in the water line to the park have been repaired and the restrooms and the irrigation system are now operational. To avoid any further delays the township did the repair work themselves even though the project is still under warranty. The department will be going back to the contractors to negotiate reimbursement for the repair work. It is still uncertain if a booster pump is needed to provide enough water pressure for the park’s needs.

Procedure Question Concern was raised regarding the procedure for processing proposals for possible projects at the parks. Normally a project is first presented to the Parks & Recreation Board for discussion and evaluation after which it goes before the Supervisors with recommendations from the P & R Board. Two or three recent projects were presented first to the Supervisors for their preliminary review before the P & R Board was involved. The question was did the Supervisors consciously decide to modify the role of the P & R Board in agreeing to review certain proposed projects first.

June 26, 2008

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD MEETING (7:10 – 9:20 PM)

Attended and reported by Ted Robertson.

Docket No. 1246, an appeal of Stephen Kessler of 4411-A Locust Lane, Harrisburg, PA 17109, from the decision of the zoning officer to revoke a conditional use permit for a used car lot located at 4413 Locust Lane in Lower Paxton Township, was the only case heard this date. After long and tedious questioning and presentation of evidence, the Zoning Hearing Board ruled that the Township failed to produce the clear burden of proof to revoke the conditional use permit. The Zoning Hearing Board also stated that they believed Mr. Kessler was not living up to the letter of the law in the conditional use permit. The Zoning Hearing Board has 45 days to render a decision in this case.

July 1, 2008

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING (7:30 –8:25 PM)

Attended by Watson Fisher and Ted Robertson. Reported by Ted Robertson.

Supervisor Gary Crissman was absent.

Under Public Comment, Dr. Geise of Forest Hills brought a storm water run-off problem to the attention of the Supervisors again. It appears there is a question of who is to enforce the storm water regulations. There appears to be a similar, but much larger problem, on the West Shore. In this case, residents are complaining that the water table in their existing development has been raised by the adjoining elevated development. According to the newspaper article, an engineering firm stated that thee removal of a layer of clay in the new development is responsible for the quicker percolation of surface water to the ground water table. The political entities involved are arguing about enforcement responsibility. The developer, McNaughton, has stated that they have followed proper procedures with respect to storm water regulations. It appears that delineation of responsibility is a real problem in both these cases.

Chairman Hawk and the Supervisors recognized the celebration of the 80th wedding anniversary of William and Christine Sheetz with a proclamation presented to Mr. & Mrs. Sheetz.

Chairman Hawk administered the oath of office to new Police Officers, Dhenin Brock and William Wable.

Under New Business, after a public hearing, Ordinance 08-06, amending the zoning designation of properties located on Crums Mill Road at Doehne Road from Business Campus to Low Density Residential was passed 4-0.

The Supervisors unanimously approved the low and only bid for sewer maintenance and emergency repairs. Rogele submitted a bid of $257,000 for this project.

The Supervisors unanimously approve the low bid of D& M Contracting for $363,000 for the Paxton Creek Trunk A sanitary sewer replacement. Several competitive bids were submitted.

The Supervisors unanimously approved resolution 08-29 authorizing the submission of a grant application to Dauphin County for the Winfield Street storm sewer project.

The Supervisors unanimously approved Resolutions 08-27 & 08-28, applying for police officer training for officers Brock and Wable from the MPOETC.